Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Stream-And-Run: Force 10 from Navarone (1978)

    In which Robert Shaw and Harrison Ford learn you just can’t trust those dirty Nazis…

    NOTE: Netflix is taking down a boatload of titles on May 1st, so I thought it might be fun to see how many I can watch in the next two weeks, and then post quick, little hit-and-run reviews here. Hope you enjoy, and if you want to see any of these movies and have Netflix, better watch ’em now!

    Loosely adapted from Alistair MacLean’s sequel novel to The Guns of Navarone, Force 10 from Navarone trades Gregory Peck and David Niven for Robert Shaw and Edward Fox in the only returning roles, as well as bringing talented cast-mates like Harrison Ford, Franco Nero, Carl Weathers, Barbara Bach and Richard Kiel along for the ride. The story concerns Shaw and Fox being called back into service to eliminate the spy (now located in Yugoslavia) believed to have betrayed them during their earlier mission, so the two hitch up with a group of American commandos headed that way to destroy a bridge. Directed by Guy Hamilton, the film is staged with the competence of a veteran of the Bond films, although the plot relies far too much on happy coincidences to move events forward. Most of the cast gets plenty of time to shine (except Barbara Bach, who’s utterly wasted in a seemingly important role that disappears less than halfway through the film) although the filmmakers’ wisely focus on Shaw and Ford for most of the runtime, as the two have a nice back-and-forth. There are shootouts and standoffs and twists and turns aplenty, and although not the best MacLean adaptation, Force 10 from Navarone is still worthy of the author’s name.

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